Word of the Year 2020

I may have redirected my energies from this blog into other writing and living, but I still love picking one word of the year. This year it is indeed one word, too.


At the end of the year, I felt overwhelmed. By work, by volunteering at Garden@Kimbourne, by my creative projects, by being a good daughter, sister, girlfriend… all of these WONDERFUL problems to have. I feel so blessed to be in such a stable, loved place in my life. So much is sprouting from the love and energy I have–and now I have the same problem but in a different way: how to prune so that everything continues to grow and blossom, instead of stagnate.


My word could be simplicity or boundaries, but those aren’t in the spirit of what I want this year. Because I have tried this before, it seems, this cutting back and doing less. Just promising to do that doesn’t seem to last long. It always has an ending deadline for me: after this year, after this period of rest, after this project, I’ll get back to everything else. But that doesn’t solve the problem because there’s always another big time investment (or time suck) looming, ready to take up all my “free” time.

So clarity it is and it’s already a challenge. I tried to write this very blog post last weekend, but found myself speaking in vague terms all the way throughout. And if I’m still going to post here, I don’t want it to be dull or meaningless. I want it to be something different than what you’d read on Facebook or Twitter, or see on my Instagram feed (because yes I am an active participant on all three…). If I’m going to take this on, I have to have something to say, otherwise it’s yet another thing to pare down.

Clarity in 2020 for me means:

  • Not taking on more at Garden@Kimbourne than I can sustainably handle AND be clear about that to everyone I work with.
  • Same with Kimbourne Park United Church. I am a deeply involved member of that community, but that doesn’t mean that I have time to do every thing that is asked of me there either. I only want volunteer when I can do it well and be there fully, not guilty or frustrated about not spending time with my family or working on my artistic projects.
  • Doing the work that I, Darren, and Sadie all agree will be worth it for The Familiar’s first season. There are SO many news articles and twitter threads on what to do to start a new audio drama and/or podcast. There are conferences and promotional tasks, a million different apps, and burgeoning communities on every social media platform. But we can only do so much. I have to trust that it will grow as we are able to as well.

There’s more to this word and how it affects my whole life, but these especially are the ones I want to be accountable for when I look back at 2020.

Thanks for helping me stay clear and transparent with my goals, readers. Stay tuned for more updates on these projects!

About austinausten88

Playwright in love with Classic films, afternoon tea, and Noel Coward. She recently graduated from Rice University. In the fall, she will be exchanging her English major undergraduate status for that of Theatre & Performance Studies graduate student.
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